Tuesday, June 24, 2008

NBA Wrap-Up, Part 1.

JackRabbit Café Senior NBA editor (and former North Country basketball legend) "The Best-Looking Man In Show Business Today" breaks down the 2007-2008 NBA finalists in a season-ending wrap-up.

Today, the progenitor of the "running one-hander" looks at the Los Angeles Lakers:  

Celtics vs. Lakers II?


Now that Celtic Nation has had time to gloat about and luxuriate in the Celtics 17th NBA championship, it’s time to consider the chances of a Celtics/ Lakers final next year.


What do the Lakers need to do? The Lakers need to be patient. See how Andrew Bynum does coming back from injury. He was playing well but the injury (worse than expected) came at bad time in his development cycle. But had it not been for the injury they would not have acquired Pau Gasol, who played out of position filling in at center for Bynum. If Bynum returns successfully, Gasol moves to power forward and the Lakers have the best 4/5 combo in the West.


Lamar Odom then moves to the 3 spot and don’t expect him to go anywhere other than to the bench soon. With a $14.1 million salary this year, the Lakers won’t be able to trade him until midseason. By then some bottom dweller needing cap room might bite. The off season trade bait is Radmanovic, Ariza, Walton, and Vujacic.


The Lakers need a point and I am not buying Farmar as the Lakers’ point guard of the future. But Derek Fisher will be back and--with Farmar--they will have the same serviceable duo that was good enough. A trade could happen here, too, with the same bait mentioned above. It might have to include Farmar.


Kobe. He is not Mike nor is he Shaq (remember, Shaq won a ring without Kobe). And that fuels his hunger for greatness. Be afraid.


Phil Jackson is not Red Auerbach and--trust me--that is the one thing that really tears at him. He needs that tenth ring more than life itself. He might say, “No.” He’s lying.


The trade the Lakers will make will be for Ron Artest. They could bundle two or three of the Walton, Radmanovic, Vujacic, or Ariza group into a package. Though Artest would have to settle for $5.4 million instead of  $7.1 , we’re talking about a guy who travelled with the Lakers to Boston and is a hungry man in need of career validation.


Bottom line for Laker fans, the Lakers could stand pat and still win the West next year with only New Orleans to worry about. They’ll be back.


Next time, we’ll talk green team.




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